Let me tell you a story about how I hit rock bottom and what it taught me about creating quality family time.
In 2019 I was working a corporate job that had me travelling the country and staying away from home constantly. Spurred on by the goal of earning enough money to indulge my passion of travelling to more countries, as well as ultimately buying my house and helping my family with money.
My family are everything to me, two sisters, a brother, mum, dad, a niece and six nephews that I love to treat. I would always look for ways that we could have big family meals together, usually cooking the dishes I’d learned about in my travels.
No matter how busy life was, I knew my other siblings were even more manic in their lives with full time jobs and children aswell. Besides, I got a real kick out of organising family occasions and absolutely loved coming up with new recipes and cooking for people.
Chasing the corporate ladder and this dream (along with the unhealthy lifestyle it forced upon me), made me sick, really sick.
I had already had one back operation and had been diagnosed with early arthritis, which made it difficult to walk on some days, but then I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and could barely get out of bed. Ironically, this meant that I wasn’t able to travel and spent less and less time with my family.
On top of that, I knew I couldn't continue with my career and the stress of thinking about what to do next was making me more sick. Needless to say, I wasn't posting any fancy Facebook photos at this time as I was embarassed that my life was in such mess and I didn't think things could get much worse.
Then we all know what happened in 2020!
Living on my own, literally meant ON MY OWN!!
It was then that I hit rock bottom, I had never felt so isolated and disconnected from the most treasured people in my life. Life was pretty dark and it felt like our family unit was falling apart. I'm not normally a crier,, but I cried A LOT!!
After speaking with so many other people, I know my experience at this time wasn’t unique.
Those living in their homes with their families were also struggling so much. Even under ordinary circumstances, organising quality family time and finding the right thing to do can be very time consuming and hard work. But these were extraordinary times and stressful for so many people.
A friend ‘bubbled’ up with me for a few weeks which was a lifesaver. I soon realised I needed to find a way to spend more time with my family as I knew that was what made us all truly happy, but also making the most of whatever time we do get together.
I began putting together family experiences inspired by my previous travels, that could be enjoyed remotely and then, as we were allowed, in person. Starting with my favourite foods from around the world, I then designed and printed faux boarding cards to invite people to my new, fun nights in, making sure there were lots of props for the kids to enjoy too!
Spending more meaningful time with my family, and not travelling round the country for a job, helped my health immensely and I set up a little Shopify webpage to share what I had put together with other people.
My early customers were amazing but I knew the product could be so much more. So, my sister Lauren joined me earlier this year and we have taken her experience of working full time with two children, along with asking other families what they would like, to keep improving.
This has become the ultimate, fun, famly experience; the Holiday at Home Box. Taking away all of the stress and time-consuming work for families, so they just have the fun part of spending amazing quality time together.
Now I've learned that being close to my family is the greatest medicine and the joy our Holiday at Home boxes bring to other people inspires us to keep going with our business. We’re proud to share it with you.